One of TIME’s 50 best inventions of 2008: the branded candidate.
Barack Obama hat: $15.
Barack Obama special-edition Beyoncé T shirt: $60.
Devising a system to make and sell your own swag and garner millions in profits, not to mention the phone numbers and addresses of hundreds of thousands of potential volunteers? Priceless.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has a hilarious analysis of Obama’s half-hour infomercial — complete with “unfortunate product placements.”